Talents are among the most important character systems available in World of Warcraft, giving players the option to customize their character through the use of different capabilities.
This guide will outline how Shadow Priest talents work, and the most effective Shadow Priest talent build builds for Patch 9.1 Chains of Domination or Shadowlands Season 2. We also discuss specialized content such Raids and Mythic+. We also discuss the best ways to use each of the talents so you can choose the right one for you.
You must not be fighting to be able to change your abilities.
Your rotation could be affected by different choices of talents in this guide, and there are explanations for the various possible rotations on our Shadow Priest rotation page.
Best Shadow Priest Talents to Use for Shadowlands
Looking for a quick Shadow Priest build? This is the perfect build! If you're looking for something more specific such as raiding or Mythic+ dungeons, then look at the other builds below.
Level 15: Fortress of the Mind or Death and Madness for dungeons
Level 25 The Body and Soul
Level 30: Twist of Fate/ Misery or Searing Nightmare to stack damage.
Level 35: Psychic Horror
Level 40: Auspicious Spirits
Level 45: Void Torrent or Mindbender for dungeons
Level 50: Hungering Void
Shadow Priest Talent Overview for Shadowlands
Shadow Priest Talent Level 1 Shadow Priest Talent (Level 15).
Fortress of the Mind Mind Flay and Mind Blast deal 10% more damage and generate 200% more insaneness.
Death and Madness If you kill a person within 6 seconds after applying Shadow Word: Death, the cooldown resets and you gain 40 Insanity for 4 minutes.
Unfurling Darkness When you cast Vampiric Touch, it causes the subsequent Vampiric Touch to become instantaneous and deal instant damage , as well as the normal dot.
Each of the three options is useful depending on the scenario. Fortress of the Mind can be utilized in settings that do not require Mind Sear. Death and Madness works really well in dungeons since it gives you a lot of leeway in the Shadow Word: Death usage and increases your Insanity quite a bit. Unfurling Darkness, which is an instant casting component that allows you to strike many targets, is beneficial in pvp situations.
Shadow Priest Talent, Tier 2. (Level 25).
Body and Soul Casting Power Word: Shield gives the target an increase of 40% in speed for 3 minutes.
San'layn Reduces the cooldown of Vampiric Embrace by 45 seconds and increases its healing done by 25%
Intangibility lowers the cooldown for Dispersion and allows it to heal the caster up to 50 percent of their max health.
This row is primarily a preferred by players. Body and Soul offers a sometimes needed speed boost on demand for yourself or an ally, while the healing boost of Vampiric Embrace by San'layn isn't significant in raids, but it is visible in smaller groups or solo. You can take intangibility for those who don't require a speed boost often or a longer personal cooling time.
Shadow Priest Talent Tier 3 (Level 30).
Twist of Fate: You get 10% more healing and damage after you've damaged your target below 35% Health for 8 seconds
Misery Casting Vampiric Touch also is applicable to Shadow Word: Pain (Note, you only get the insanity from Vampiric Touch but not the additional 4 form Shadow Word: Pain)
Searing Nightmare is available only when you are channeling Mind Sear. Searing Nightmare instantly inflicts damage equal to 75% and applies Shadow Word to Pain to all enemies. It also deals double damage to enemies that already have Shadow Word: Pain. It is priced at 30 insane.
In a particular situation the three talents listed in this row could be utilized. Twist of Fate should be used whenever you can game the proc uptime to the maximum extent possible, while making sure you don't lose too many GCDs to applying dots. If you find yourself doing a lot of dots Misery is a better choice for spread AoE, while Searing Nightmare would be preferred for stack big AoE. Searing Nightmare works best in the dungeons because it comes with a soft goal limitation of 20 enemies. This isn't something you will run into when you are doing huge draws in a specific dungeon. When you're raiding, this skill can be extremely beneficial if adds are constantly spawning and need to be dealt with when placed over the boss. Misery is just a little ahead of Twist of Fate in single-target fights. It means you aren't likely to lose many points if your aim is to be lazy.
Tier 4 (Level 35) Talent for Shadow Priest
Last Word The duration of Silence is reduced by 15 seconds.
Mind Bomb Inflicts the target with the target with a Mind Bomb. It is exploding for 5 seconds and the target will be dead within 2 seconds.
30 seconds cooling off
Psychic Horror Terrifies the target in place by dazzling them for four seconds
45 second cooldown
Another row is player preference. Last Word and Psychic Horror both have significant use. The former lets you participate in an interrupt rotation, whereas the latter allows you to stun an add or player at a crucial point in time. Due to changes on thresholds for damage, the disorientation of Mind Bomb acts as a soft stun.
Shadow Priest Talent 5th level (Level 40).
The auspicious spirits of your Shadowy Apparitions can deal 25 percent more damage, and also create 2 insaneness
Psychic Link Mind Blast deals 50 percent of its damage to any other targets affected by your Vampiric Touch within 40 yards.
Shadow Crash is an elongated bolt of Shadow energy towards the location it causes damage in the shadows to all targets within the area of impact.
Creates 15 insaneness
30 second timer
Three abilities are viable. Auspicious Spirits is a good choice to be your priority target damage funnel, as you can utilize the additional Insanity for a higher uptime of Devouring Plague. Psychic Link is a talent that is able to damage every target equally, yet still deal a small amount of damage to your primary victim. Shadow Crash is technically better than Auspicious Spirits, however many players, myself included feel it is difficult to play. It's also less effective when you fail to hit any targets. It is based on the assumption that Simmed will hit all targets. Take these results with a grain of salt. Psychic Link has counter synergy when it's talented in Searing Nightmare and just doesn't provide enough DPS to be competitive compared to our other two options.
Shadow Priest Talent Shadow Priest Talent, Level 6. (Level 45).
Damnation applies Shadow Word: Pain Vampiric Touch, and Devouring The target is instantly struck by the plague.
Mindbender Invokes Mindbender to attack the target for 15 seconds
Insanity is generated every time it is attacked.
60 second cooling down
Void Torrent Channel a torrent of void energy to the target, causing (300 percent of Spell power) Shadow damage over 4 seconds. During the duration of the spell, 60 insanity is created.
Void Torrent acts as our single target nuke and also gives us Insanity throughout its duration. Damnation is a quick method to put your DoTs in a specific area, giving you full Mastery of Shadow weaving. Mindbender is useful in situations where the other two abilities aren't. Mindbender can be used in dungeons in which Mindbender is able to cast Searing Nightmare and then forget about it. Shadowflame Prism can also be used alongside Mindbender.
Tier 7 (Level 50) Talent for Shadow Priest
Ancient Madness Entering Voidform increases your critical strike change by 30% for 15 seconds. It decreases by 2% every second.
Hungering Void The second and subsequent Void Bolt on the same target will inflict 25% more damage , and cause the target to suffer 15% more damage for you until you cast Void Bolt on a different target. This also extends the duration of Voidform by a one second, or two when Void Bolt critically strikes.
Surrender to Madness: You immediately cast Void Eruption on the desired target. Your abilities to generate Insanity generate an additional 100% of Insanity during the remaining 25 seconds. If the target doesn't pass away within the first 25 seconds after the time you use Surrender to Madness then you will die.
90 second cooling down
This is the most significant alteration row that we've ever implemented in Shadowlands. The three talents we have: Ancient Madness, Hungering Void, and Surrender to Madness are possible options. Surrender to Madness is best used only in situations where you're in a position to consistently survive and gain the highest amount of uptime from it's buff. Hungering Void is an excellent standard talent to have here, it's viable in Dungeons and raids. Ancient Madness has some good initial bursts on paper but it gets outscaled quite quickly due to the greater uptime of Voidform provided by Hungering Void and Surrender to Madness.
War Mode for Shadow Priest
War Mode is a World PvP system. To switch on War Mode in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, you can now be able to access PvP skills in the world of nature. In addition, you will receive bonus rewards like more reward for World quests, and an extra 10% experience. The drawback to this is that you'll being in PvP battle mode. However, the rewards are greater than the risk.
Keep in mind that not all abilities can give you the highest Shadow Priest performance. These are the best choices that you can use when doing outdoor content while the mode is active. Remember that these are the top options for PvE activities and may differ from those used when fighting other players.
War Mode bonuses may now be up to 30% depending on how imbalanced is the PvP environment against your particular faction. Also, you will be able to disable War Mode at any resting place, such as smaller inns or cities. This will allow you to leave undesirable situations if necessary.
Shadow Priest specific PvP talent
Driven to Madness Despite the fact that Voidform isn't actively in use Being attacked can reduce the time to cool down by 3 second duration.
Mind Trauma Mind Flays Mind Flares that are fully channeled allow you to steal 3% havete from your target for 20 seconds. Only 12% can be taken from just one target. It is possible to stack the cards up to eight times.
Greater Fade Fade now increases your speed of movement by 50%, causing most attacks and spells to be missed. It lasts for 4 seconds.
Psyfiend summons Psyfiends, with 10 Health for 12 seconds beside you to take on the target with Psyflay
Thoughtsteal allows you to steal a well-known spell from an enemy which disables it for them for 20 seconds.
Void Origins Void Eruption can now be cast immediately
Void Shield: 30% of the damage you cause on yourself is refilled by your Power Word Shield
Void Shift You can switch your health percentages to the raid member or the party that is currently under attack. If below 25%, increases the lower health percentage to 25%.
Improved Mass Dispel extends the duration of your Devouring Plague's by 6 seconds
Which Warmode Talents to Take
Since War Mode is only available in open world content (ie. world quests, leveling) you can use this talent configuration to speed up your stuff.
This BiS features an improved mass dispel, and a longer-lasting plague's, along with its ignite-like mechanic.
Void Origins - While Void Eruption doesn't have a very lengthy cast time anymore, this lets you be a bit more mobile, and still send out DPS.
Greater Fade lets you draw more mobs before breaking them up by double blast.
In general, you can choose any combination of skills to suit your game but Void Origins is recommended across the board to increase performance and speed.
Our Shadow Priest guides are updated often with fresh information from in-game simulations and logs. Click View Changelog at top of page to see our changelog. If you're looking for more detailed Shadow Priest guides for Patch 9.1 Chains of Domination and Shadowlands Season 2, make sure to check through the Navigation Bar below, and our list of Related guides is below the Table of Contents.
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